Did you know that so far this year Ohio has produced enough young, chilled or frozen turkeys that each Ohioan could eat up to 12 lbs. of turkey and there still be leftovers? Yum, that is a lot of healthy protein. It is incredible to see how diverse our agricultural production is when you look at the numbers from our great state. I hope that the spread on your Thanksgiving dinner table will include at least one local favorite. Get lunch ready before you read on, because this is going to make you hungry.
I’m drooling already thinking about dipping succulent turkey into a serving of fluffy mashed potatoes. When you think potatoes you probably think Idaho, but Ohio produced a fair 2.76 million lbs. of potatoes in 2015. What goes better on the side of a great meal than a flaky croissant roll? Thanks to Ohio wheat growers, soft red winter wheat production is forecasted at 44.8 million bushels. Broken down into terms you can throw around for family trivia, 1 bushel of wheat can be milled into 42 lb. of white four, which is enough to make more than 70 dozen dinner rolls. As for pumpkin pie, you can eat up while eating local. Last year’s pumpkin production was nearly 8.5 million lbs. Not a pumpkin fan? Apple is delicious too and also a thing to be proud of. Already in 2016 apple production has surpassed 42 million pounds. That is about 4 lbs. of apples per Ohioan. Isn’t that amazing?
Now, if you’re trying to keep things healthy this year, hidden calories can be found all over the table. Butter is one of those things that can really enhance flavor. It can also be easy to get carried away with how much we add to our meal. In contrast to criticism by the public for many years, it has actually been proven that butter is a healthy choice for families in moderation. Moderation is the key. One tablespoon of butter is about 100 added calories to your side dish. Real whipped cream is delectable on top of a dessert, but it also can also be one of those overlooked calorie additions. Depending on what type you use one tablespoon could add 25 calories or more. Rethink your drink too if you’re monitoring sugar intake. Water in your cup will help you savor the flavor of what is on your plate. Ohio State Extension has a variety of information that can help you prepare a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving dinner. Feel free to give us a call or visit ohioline.osu.edu and click on “Food” to see the factsheets we have available anytime, day or night.
Caring for groups of livestock and groups of young children share many similarities when it comes to disease prevention and control. I am reminded of this a week after Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) came home with our daughter for the third time since August. Since they often inhabit the same spaces, they eat, drink, and play together. Both young children and livestock taste surfaces while exploring their environments. It’s wonderful for developing social skills and also wonderful for spreading pathogens. Neither toddlers or livestock can effectively wash their bodies after every encounter with an infected individual or contaminated surface. As caregivers, we have to do our best to prevent disease from entering the system, because once it is there, control becomes increasingly challenging. Some illnesses can be treated effectively with antibiotics, but the more we use antibiotics, the greater resistance is built within the bacterial population. Not to mention, that viruses (like HFMD) cannot be treated with antibiotics. Given all this, the best way to fight illness is through prevention.
Beginning on January 1, 2017 Veterinary Feed Directives (VFDs) will be required for use of any fed antibiotics for livestock that are also medically important for humans. A VFD is similar to a prescription, but does not need to be filled by a pharmacist, only approved by your veterinarian. Feed stores can continue to sell feeds and minerals containing antibiotics, but the seller must have a current VFD to buy them. Antibiotic feeds have been used for years as ways to prevent and treat bacterial illnesses in livestock and this has helped improve herd health. In conjunction, antibiotic feeds have been used unethically by some parties to promote weight gain or to compensate for sub-par management practices. Research has shown and concluded that overuse of antibiotics increases resistance to their effectiveness in the long run. Therefore, it is important for human and animal health to only use antibiotics when disease is a present threat (not just suspected) and in an ethical manner.
There are many ways to stop disease before it starts and they have been identified for livestock producers in quality assurance (QA) guidelines. To quote the Good Production Practices (GPP) factsheet, “It is every animal owner’s responsibility to assure that proper management and welfare are at the core of animal care.” There are ten core GPPs:
- Use an appropriate veterinarian/client/patient relationship as the basis for medication decision-making.
- Establish and implement an efficient and effective health management plan.
- Use antibiotics responsibly.
- Properly store and administer animal health products.
- Follow proper feed processing protocols.
- Establish effective animal identification, medication records and withdrawal times.
- Practice good environmental stewardship.
- Maintain proper workplace safety.
- Provide proper animal care.
- Utilize tools for continuous improvement.
These are the core guidelines for herd health. Inevitably, disease will still get through our barriers on occasion. When it does consult your veterinarian about how to treat the herd, whether it be with medication, isolation of infected animals, or improved practices. The best things you can do in preparation for VFD implementation in 2017 is to establish and maintain a relationship with your veterinarian and follow QA guidelines.